I’ve got the beat…the Apple Beat(s1)

I hadn’t heard of Zane Lowe until a few months ago. Wouldn’t have known him from Rob Lowe but I have been listening to the New Zealand-born DJ on Apple Music’s Beats1 Radio.
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I’m not familiar with many of songs Lowe plays but that’s okay because he’s doing something you don’t often hear on terrestrial radio, with its corporate sameness and consultant-driven blandness.
Zane Lowe is spinning songs he likes and his enthusiasm is rubbing off on listeners around the world. By most accounts, Beats1 Radio is a hit, even if Apple seems to have included Beats1 as an added feature to it’s “look out Spotify we’re gunning for you” streaming service.
And really, we have always loved music curators, going back to the days when a Memphis DJ named Dewey Phillips played black rhythm and blues and introduced his audience to an unknown kid who sounded black named Elvis Presley.
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Because Phillips loved Presley’s songs and figured his listeners would as well.
I have the free Spotify service on my iPhone and iPad and every once in a while I check it out in the car. As for Apple Music, nothing about the streaming service has encouraged me to try it.
Never say never, but I can’t see myself ever paying for either one.
Zane Lowe is gushing about songs and artists I would never seek out and I’m paying attention. It’s fun. It’s a shared experience and judging by the public reaction Beats1 fans like it a lot. One fan on Twitter tweeted how ironic it was that the world’s most valuable corporation has, in 2015, turned us on to…radio.
I can load my phone with customized playlists, and dial into an endless stream of tunes by my favourite artists, but that takes time and effort and in today’s digital world we have so many things to fill up our leisure hours…Youtube, Netflix, Facebook…so why would I want to search and do all that work when I can simply push the button that says, “Listen Now?”
I don’t want streaming. I want really good radio and Beats1 is a click in the right direction.

About johnnymaraca

host of Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot, the rockingest show on the radio. 60 years of rockin' rhythm and blues, from the late '40s pioneers like Louis Jordan to Elvis, Chuck Berry, CCR, Stray Cats, Ramones and tons more. Friday and Saturday nights at 7 on 97.7 the Beach, listen live at http://977thebeach.ca, and WRSG in Middlebourne, West Virginia, Tuesdays 6-8 pm.
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